t h e m a y f i l e s is foremost a family blog, chronicling everyday life. Life including natural, healthy eating (with recipes thrown in at random), home educating (with ideas popping up sporadically), an attempt to homestead on .2 acres (with very meager yields), raising 3 of 4 children with a rare genetic disorder, and lots of highly personal family triumphs and failures. You may also find an eclectic array of musings on politics, exercise, sewing, emergency preparedness, backyard chickens, and religion. This blog isn't a campaign to glorify anyone or anything. Just simply a record.
Homeschool Summer Schedule
A few weeks ago as summer was beginning I decided I needed to provide some sort of structure for my girls. Otherwise they just run wild all day from house to house on our street. Their little group of kiddos go from backyard to basement to driveway to kitchen at 4 different houses. Of course the kitchen being frequented multiple times each round! I am a firm believer in unstructured play. I want my children to creative and free spirited. However, I also wanted them to have some structure.
So we began every morning our little "homeschool" schedule. Here's how it plays out.
5:30-7:30 AM - Mom Exercises
My personal, private, extremely crucial exercise time. This morning I ran 8 miles. Yesterday I biked 18. Sometimes I squeeze in some pilates (Rael System 27 is my absolute favorite) or lifting.
6:15-7:15 AM - The rest of the family wakes up.
Brent situates them with "Ellery's Cereal" (frosted miniwheats) and their daily allotments of gummy vitamins and PBS cartoons.
7:30-9:00 AM - Breakfast, showers, "get ready for the day" time
8:30-9:00 AM - Brent leaves for work
9:00-10:00 - We recover the house from the morning.
This is a constant amazement to me. I am one of those people who can't go to bed with a cluttered house. So every morning we wake up to a clean house (don't get me wrong that doesn't mean the toilets are scrubbed and the floor's mopped). But somehow by the time I return from exercising and finish breakfast polly pockets are covering nearly every square inch of my kitchen, the chairs are lined up in a train, all the shoes have been removed from the basket and are filled with barbies and polly's, doubling as "cars" and each child has had at least 2 separate bowls of cereal. This time also includes laundry. Lots of laundry.
10:00-11:15 AM Pre-school time
We start by memorizing a scripture verse. I am amazed at the memories of my girls. They pick things up so fast. I always want to make time for the Lord in our lives. It is crucial my children grow up understanding the importance of being spiritually grounded.
Then Callista and I work on handwriting. She is learning C's. I tried A's with her but it was way to over her head. (I have to mention through our entire learning time she refuses to call me mom instead she calls me "teacher." I never asked her to do this, Ellery doesn't do this. But she is dead serious about it. It is adorable.)
Ellery reads to me. Often we trade lines or pages so it doesn't get frustrating. Today we read "Pete's Big Wish." (I use the Frontline Phonics program. I have loved it. I haven't followed it exactly but the general program is great. The books are the best.)
Next we do workbooks. I just bought a bunch from Costco at the beginning of the Summer. I especially like the Hooked on Phonics ones. Callista colors in Ellery's old workbook. Of course our Cap Trappers keep us totally organized!
Finally I read to them out of our big special book. Hopefully my mom is not reading this because I snagged this book from her house. I grew up with my Dad reading to me out of it. It is a wonderful book full of actual children's literature. (Somehow the Dora books from the library don't qualify. But there is definitely a place for them in reading. I can't even begin to count the number of Bobbsey Twins and Nancy Drew books I read growing up.)
Callista usually is doing my hair as I read. This can be extremely painful as the princess curling iron and scissors have a tendency to pull the most tender hairs from my head. But Ellery is usually captivated by the stories. Today we read
"The Story of the Enchanted Horse" from The Arabian Nights. With words like "impudent" and a "suppliant prince" I can't help but feel like this is an enriching activity!
11:15 - 12:30 Lunch and Activity/Work
Today we made bread. I love to bake bread. I will do a post on it next week when I make it. Nothing beats homemade bread. Callista can barely keep her fingers out of the bowl from the moment we start. She loves the dough!
Brent comes home for lunch so I also usually squeeze in some emails and phone calls during lunch.
We make a yummy lunch and eat it together.
12:30-3:00 Run Wild
The girls play with their friends to their little hearts desire.
3:00- 3:30 - Quiet time
I try to bring them home to rest. But usually it just ends up with them jumping on their beds upstairs.
3:30-5:00 PM More Crazy Play time
5:30 PM We eat dinner
6:00-7:00 PM Time for Bed!
7:00 PM Let the work and fun Begin!
That is basically how it goes. Some changes. But overall it is the same.